Written by Nick Johnson |
Read time: 5 mins
Given that branding is such a broad subject, it can be hard to know where to start, or what area to cover. So we decided to start at the beginning, with the basis of any great brand, it's strategy.
When people talk about brand, usually they're referring to the visual parts. They think about their logo, the colours they use or their typefaces. But actually your brand is so much more than that. It's also how you sound, and how your employees answer the phone. It's what sort of experience you offer and how you relate to customers.
You could say your brand is your company's personality. Branding is what makes people choose one company over another. Even when the products they offer are identical. Bottled still water is a great example of this. To look at, to taste and it's price, are often almost identical.
So why does what's on the bottle influence the buying decision we make? Put simply, it's because brands make us feel something. We become attached to brands because of the way they make us feel. Whether that's how they make us feel about ourselves, or the impression they give of us to other people.
When it comes to attracting and keeping customers, it's obvious that brand is important. But your brand is more than just what you say your company is or how it sounds or looks.
As we tell our clients, your brand is based on perception and reputation.
That is how people perceive your brand and the impression they get of your company. As well as the reputation you build based on the experience your customers have. Which is why brand strategy is so key. Because brand strategy is your plan of how to make sure your customers perceive your brand in the right way.
Getting a brand strategy together is usually the first thing we do for new clients. It's also about creating a plan and knowing where you want to be in the next future. Sometimes it means going back to why you started out in the first place. Because then you can get to the heart of what you do and why, to get the fundamentals right. And it doesn't have to be a big jargon filled document, in fact it should be the opposite.
We like to keep this as simple as possible for our clients. But by taking a step back to think about your strategy, you can start to build a strong brand. And a good strategy will inform everything you do. Whether it's how your website looks, the tone of voice that you use, or advertising and marketing campaigns you produce.
When we're taking clients through a brand development project, we start by defining their purpose.
All great brands have a strong sense of purpose. They understand what's driving the business and what they're setting out to achieve. Defining your brand's purpose is about defining what you stand for. As well as thinking about what value you add. And it's a powerful thing, if its harnessed to create your brand strategy.
It can create an ethos for employees to get behind and for your customers to buy into. In most cases your brand purpose should be succinct. Even just a sentence that explains what you do and what your brand stands for. And it should be simple enough to be understood by anyone. Whether that's key stakeholders, potential investors or your grandma.
To help you make a start on defining your purpose yourself, start with the simple questions below. Hopefully these can help you on your way to creating your brand strategy.
We believe strongly in the importance of brand strategy, and we're always keen to help businesses develop and implement their own.